25-8-00 22:35:58 -0000
I only remember a recurrent nightmare that I had several times during my childhood. No other kinds of dreams. My cousin told me about a romantic dream she had and I remember that I was green with envy, and pretended long after that that it was also my dream. Then I felt that there was a link between the kind of person you are and the kind of dreams you have ( like "nice girls have nice and rosy dreams" :).
Dreams were never discussed in my family. Recently, I was surprised to discover that my mother has a very definite opinion just about any dream image I happen to mention to her. Unbelievable !
The attitude of other folks around me was very pagan, somewhat like Artemidorus's. There was a rigid meaning associated with some of the common dream images . I recall that seeing feces in dreams meant "money is about to come to the household", and muddy water meant "severe illness approaching". Being visited by a deceased relative in a dream was about future death, if this relative walks away from you - relax , you'll live long and prosper ... I guess all the interpretations were of a predictive nature.
It was several years ago... I remember I was severely depressed and went to the library to find some psychological books that could explain me my condition. I stumbled upon Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung and he sold me the idea that exploring dreams was therapeutic, that it was supposed to make you healthier or even more wholesome and even more spiritual. It took me two weeks of relentless efforts to harvest my first dream. After that I have been always able to recall my dreams.
I believed Jung then and expected that dream exploration (meaning exploration of "the unconscious") would heal my depression ( I went to see an analyst), and that I would discover something "otherworldly" or "godly" about myself.
I first started to write my dreams on cards, I wanted to catalog them in the way they catalogued books in the libraries then. As far as FIRST attempts to analyze them ... My analyst tried to feed me her opinions at first, but she looked so lost and insecure, I eventually fired her. Then I tried to match my dream images with Jung's opinions, it was even worst. After a couple of years of that I stopped analysing my dreams, but I haven't stopped having them :)
Thank God , now I have tools that really work :)
I defined dreams then as windows that allowed us to see what's in our "unconscious".
I have no opinion about benefits of dreaming per se, but discussing my dreams is the major means of becoming self aware to me.
Place of dreams in my life... Hmmm... Maybe twice a month or so I stop and take a closer look at one of them. Since every time it brings me some revolutionary insights about myself and major creative suggestions, insights that require a follow-up action or a change in attitude, I cannot do it any more often than that.
I use Gayle Delaney's Breakthrough Dreaming method today to "interact" with dreams.
Today's pragmatic definition of dreams: dreams make visible my mental and emotional status quo as fully as MRI reveals inner working of my brains. In skillful hands, they are an equivalent of psychological x-ray photos. I also agree with Hartmann that dreams contextualize current emotional concerns of the dreamer.
I hope this survey will help you to sell more of your software, Harry. I also would like to know in the end how did you feel when you read our answers. Your own answers to the above questions would be also interesting to read.
Liudmila Valls grew up in Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
I'm writing a report that amongst others will tell how I felt about reading all the answers, but I can already tell there were quite a few surprises for me. To see my own answers, look for Time Red among the first responses.
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